On Saturday, June 18, Jason and I were married at an Airbnb on the side of a mountain near Manchester, Vermont. It ended up being more beautiful than both of us imagined.
Here’s how we did it:
1. Trim your guest list
We kept our list to parents and siblings only. Keeping the wedding to immediate family was easier to explain to the people closest to us without hurting feelings. Including us, we were a wedding party rolling nine deep.
2. Book the house of your dreams
After hitting dead ends with typical wedding venues, we took to Airbnb. I knew as soon as I clicked the listing that this was it. I showed Jason and he quickly replied: Yes.
Here are some features to look for when choosing your Airbnb venue:
- a bedroom for everyone
- a large dining table
- space for a ceremony outside (and inside in case of rain)
- flexible check-in and out times
- space for the everyone to get ready
- fun amenities (hot tub, sauna, hiking trails)
3. Tell your hosts you’re getting married
We were up front with our hosts about our intentions, and they were supportive all along the way.
4. Book vendors early and always choose tacos
We found that traditional wedding caterers had a small fee for their services which didn’t scale well with our small wedding. We ended up going with a local restaurant, Gringo Jack’s, who brought us a fantastic taco bar. We found our officiant on Wedding Wire, the photographer from browsing Instagram, and the cake bakery, hair stylists, and florist were also local to the area.
(I custom ordered the bibs on Etsy! The y ended up being really cute and made everyone laugh.)
5. Plan out all meals
Since we were all there for the weekend, each family ended up covering a meal which worked well. I think the hardest part was that we had so many leftovers to divvy up on Sunday.
6. Have a back-up plan
For a small fee, we paid for wedding insurance just in case our venue fell through. We also searched Airbnb for similar houses in the area just in case. Thankfully we didn’t end up needing any backups.
7. Create a to do list and schedule
We created a list of everything that needed to happen on Friday and Saturday, including when the vendors would arrive and their names. This allowed us to relax on the day and let our family grab a task when they could.
8. Make a playlist
We created a
rdio Spotify playlist with our ceremony songs first and then the more upbeat songs for the rest of the night. The Airbnb had an amazing sound system throughout the house (even the bathrooms). Jason hit play right before he walked out.
9. Assemble a wedding arch
We wanted a wedding arch to frame our ceremony space and make it feel more intimate. We also needed something that was easy to break down and assemble. We ended up buying ¾” black pipe from the hardware store and used stakes to keep it sturdy. The florist hung flowers to pull it all together.
10. Bring place settings
Ok, I bought a ton of other stuff, too:
- Ensidig vases from IKEA
- Glasig tealight holders from IKEA
- White candlesticks and tealights from Target
- Marble tile (that I turned into coasters by sanding them down and adding felt backing)
- Wood blocks from the craft store that Jason drilled holes to fit candlesticks
- Copper mugs, pitcher, bar spoon, and jigger
It was a really good day.